Sunday, May 25, 2008

Inside The Reunification Palace.

The five-storey 95 room palace and all its contents remain intact as it was found that day – to their credit!! And it is now a memorial to a past way of life.


I’m off again for work, this time to Mt Hagen up in the Highlands of PNG, for a week. I used to travel through here when we lived in Tabubil in the late 1990s, so am looking forward to going back.

I will leave you with these interiors of the palace while I am gone and post again next weekend.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Reunification Palace

Of all the places I saw in Vietnam this is the one that held the most vivid memories for me. I have seen this building so often over the years and it was so important that I visited it on our trip.

This is the former Presidential Palace of South Vietnam today known as Dinh Thong Nhat (The Reunification Palace). On 30 April 1975 communist tanks crashed through the palace’s wrought iron gates and overthrew the South Vietnamese Government.

In the park-like grounds is a tank similar to the one that crashed through the gates. The original one is now in Hanoi.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Saigon Lights

The square on the intersection of Le Loi and Nguyen Streets is the hub of Saigon. Included in this square are:

The famous Rex Hotel, home to American servicemen during the Vietnam War.

The stunning City Hall - People's Community Building,

....and diagonally across from that is Vietnam Airlines.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


People are my favourite subject when I travel.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Notre Dame - Saigon style

Notre Dame (Duc Ba) Cathedral with its 56 m bell towers that hold six bells weighing nearly 30 tons, rises over Paris Square in downtown Saigon. It stands across from The Post office (last post). French architect Jules Bourand designed the cathedral and it was completed in 1890 .

You can still see bullet holes in the facade, and in 2005 people flocked to the square with rumours the Virgin Mary was shedding tears.

This young couple had their photos taken outside the church.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Saigon Post Office

On Paris Square across from the Notre Dame Cathedral (next post) in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), stands the impressive Post Office. Designed by Gustav Eiffel’s firm, the building was built between 1886 and 1891 and looks more like a railway station, with its stunning vaulted ceilings and skylights.

The grand central pavilion is flanked by two wings where tourists can buy souvenirs and friendly staff play with the toys and musical items.

In the pavilion, huge maps decorate the side walls and....

… imposing portrait of Ho Chi Minh stares down on tourists and locals alike from the back wall.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday Morning at the Opera House

This free Sunday morning concert on the steps of the 800-seat Municipal Theatre, in Lam Son Square Ho Chi Minh City was enthusiastically applauded.

Built as the Saigon Opera House in January 1900, this colonial- style building once housed the South Vietnam National Assembly. It was restored in 2000 and is now used for its original purpose.

The concert is free but not the newspapers! This lady selling newspapers had a captive audience.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

House boats

Not far from the outskirts of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) these Cambodian refugees have made a life for themselves on the river. They have been here since the American War, as it is called in Vietnam.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Scaffolding in Vietnam is quite an art form....

but not for the fainthearted.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Rocky Mountain High with two calves.

This small village is situated between Dalat and Ho Chi Minh City.

It is built around these amazing rocky outcrops.

The photos were taken from the window of a moving vehicle so aren't too bad considering the contortions I had to get into to take them.